Featuring Jose Arenas, Carlos Castro, Emael, Chris Granillo, Erika Hannes, Hector Dio Mendoza, Johanna Poethig, Lady Reni, Joshua Short, Jose Antonio Suarez, Robert Trujillo, Christina Velazquez, Rio Yanez, and Marilyn Yu.
In February of 2009 Galeria de la Raza examined the unprecedented wave of optimism following Obama’s inauguration with an exhibition entitled Strange Hope. One year later with the resulting economic collapse, continued environmental exploitation and harsh immigration laws, we decided to ask artists for a creative visioning of the future of our soceity and the legacy we will have left behind. The variety of works presented in Mad World offer a whimsical and at times grim insight into the future based on concepts of consumerism, spirituality, politics and the enviornment.
Imagining the future, whether through dialogue or art based practice allows us to learn from our past, become more aware of the present and take ownership of what we are actively creating. Some of the works in this exhibition rely on the use of recycled and disguarded materials to shed light on habits of mindless over consumption. Other works place power in objects such as oracle cards or spiritual deities as the larger forces at work in our societal evolution . Both examples serve as compelling commentary on the human experience. Will Arizona secede from the States in 2019 as a result of political pressures? Will mechanical bees serve as a remedy for the current bee plague by 2050?
As stated in the title of Jose Arena’s work ‘Only Time Will Tell’. Mad World: Messages to the Future, thus asks you the viewer to examine our current state and entertain notions of our human potential and fantasize about whats to come.
In commemorating Galería’s 40th anniversary, we have also included a ‘time capsule’ which will be sent to our archive at UC Santa Barbara to be revisited in 40 years. We ask our friends and family (yes that’s you) to send a message to our visitors of 2050 about Galería today and the legacy you hope will survive the next four decades.
Raquel de Anda